SNOOKER: Lee’s waiting game

This Is Wiltshire: Trowbridge’s Stephen Lee Trowbridge’s Stephen Lee

TROWBRIDGE snooker star Stephen Lee’s career remains in limbo with no end in sight to his suspension from the sport.

Lee, 38, has not played a competitive frame since October 11 after being banned by the world governing body pending an investigation into suspicious betting patterns.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association confirmed to the Wiltshire Times this week that suspension will remain in place for the foreseeable future while it probes events surrounding Lee’s 4-2 Premier League defeat to John Higgins.

“Unfortunately, we can’t provide any new information at this time whilst the investigation is ongoing,” a spokesperson said.

“We are hoping to be able to provide some news on the result of the investigation in the coming weeks.”

Lee challenged the ban within days of its imposition, but it was rejected by the WPBSA, who insisted it would remain “until either the conclusion of the investigation or any resultant hearings”.

His suspension last year came just a week after he was told he would not face criminal charges from the Crown Prosecution Service over match-fixing allegations dating back to 2010.

Lee has since slipped down from seventh to 11th in the world rankings and missed out on top televised events such as the UK Championship.

As one of the world’s top 16 players, he would have been part of this week’s Betfair Masters at Alexandra Palace, but his place was filled by world number 17 Barry Hawkins.

Lee’s manager, Adam Quigley, said he and his client would not be commenting while the investigation continues.

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